1. Commodity News

Pulses, Cooking Oil & Wheat Flour Supplies to Face a Shortage as Covid-19 Hits Food Economy

Tooba Maher
Tooba Maher

Supply of cooking oil, wheat flour and pulses are likely to fall due to the labour shortage, scarcity of packaging material & fewer tenders by government agencies to sell wheat, said the industry executives.

Adani Wilmar:

Though, traders have sought less restriction on transport, movement of grains & other food commodities by the railways. The supply of edible oil to consumers will still be a challenge, especially in eastern India, if labour issue still continues. Presently, We are facing already a 40% drop in edible oil processing, packaging and dispatch due to labour issue,” as per Angshu Mallick, deputy chief executive officer at Adani Wilmar.

He said, “Other edible oil companies from Ruchi Soya industries to Emami Agrotech were also facing a same situation. India annually process 14 million tonnes of edible oil. There are few instances, where landlords are not allowing tenants to go for work & then there are other cases where due to lack of public transport, they are not able to come to the factories.”

Likewise, flour millers who annually process 22 million tonnes of wheat to make flour, maida and suji are also operating at 40 percent to 50 percent of their normal capacity due to labour issue and low supply of wheat.

Roller Flour Millers Association:

Sanjay Puri, president of Roller Flour Millers Association said, “We have not increased our product prices even though we are facing a difficult time. We are just asking government to ensure that labour come to factories & allow direct sale of wheat from the FCI godowns, besides the weekly auction it does. It will enable easier access to stocks. The government must also reduce the 5% GST on branded food products.”

All India Dal Mill Association:

Suresh Aggarwal president of All India Dal Mill Association said, “We have requested the Centre to tell state governments to allow us to operate dal mills. As the current inventories with retailers will dry down if we don’t run our units. Already 75 percent of 0he mills were closed, largely in Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Karnataka amid the lockdown & curfew.”

He added, “The new crop of tur and chana has been harvested in Karnataka, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, and Rajasthan but they are needed to be processed.

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